First broadcast on Thursday, April 18, 2013 AT 9:00 P.M. ON CBC-TV
The Secret World of Gold is a documentary exploring the power and politics of gold, a precious metal with more allure and fascination than any other. Valued for its permanence, beauty and scarcity, people will lie, cheat, steal and kill in the name of gold.
To finance the Third Reich, the Nazis went after the gold of Europe. Allied countries stored their gold offshore to keep it safe. In the first months of the Second World War, the gold of England and France was secretly shipped to vaults in Montreal, Ottawa and New York.
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Those ships made it safely to port, but throughout history, many were not so lucky. It is estimated that worldwide, 3 million shipwrecks loaded with treasure lie at the bottom of the ocean. Odyssey Marine, an American company listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange, spends huge amounts of money to search for that gold. But there’s always the risk they will have to hand it over to countries claiming ownership. Read the rest of this entry »
Documentarian reveals the drama and danger behind one of the world’s oldest currencies
MONTREAL – Brian McKenna didn’t predict the recent nosedive in gold prices, but he knows someone who did.
“Andy sent me an email early Friday morning,” recounted the Montreal director. “He said, ‘There’s a big event happening. Someone’s dumping 500 tons of gold into the market.’ That ended up driving the price down by $78 an ounce. And 500 tons is 16 million ounces — we’re talking about a serious intervention here. Who’s got that kind of money?”
“Andy” is Andrew Maguire, a key source in McKenna’s fascinating new film The Secret World of Gold, which premières Thursday at 9 p.m. on CBC-TV. The hour-long documentary plunges into the dramatically rich narrative of gold, unveiling some shocking facts along the way. “I was just going to do a history piece, until I stumbled over a whistleblower,” McKenna said.
A veteran gold and silver trader, Maguire denounces the shady tactics of the industry, breaking down the ways in which precious metal prices are manipulated using insider trading.
“He was tremendous,” McKenna said. “It took me eight months to persuade him to come on camera, but I was willing to wait. I knew he was critical to the film. It turns out he was burned by the BBC. He spent seven months showing them everything, going online and showing them the way things worked. Then after all that, they said, ‘The show’s been killed.’ Read the rest of this entry »
Globe and Mailis Canada’s national newspaper with the second largest broadsheet circulation in the country. It has enormous influence on Canada’s political and business elite.
Here in the TV Cranny, financial management consists of occasional bouts of scribbling numbers on a scrap of paper followed by some basic addition and subtraction. Hopes for the future rest on six bucks spent weekly on the Lotto 6/49.
If I read the wonderfully written Streetwise Blog of this great newspaper, I do so with admiration and complete bafflement. I’m sure that Boyd Erman and Jacqueline Nelson are absolutely right about capital markets and equity backers, but I couldn’t explain why.
I am deaf to the countless commercials urging me to trade in my old gold jewellery for cash. I have no gold jewellery, new or old. Besides, those places where such transactions occur always seem to be located in areas of Toronna so obscure that a journey there would require a warning to friends and colleagues that if I’m not back in two days, send out a search party. If I had old gold jewellery, I wouldn’t go there.
The lure of gold. I get it. Precious stuff. Or I thought I did. After watching the wonderful documentary The Secret World of Gold (CBC, 9 p.m. on Doc Zone [April 18, 2013]), I’m not so sure. And, as the price of gold is crashing, apparently, this program might help to explain the situation. Read the rest of this entry »
Nickel Queen was an Australian comedy film released in 1971 starring Googie Withers and directed by her husband John McCallum. The story was loosely based on the Poseidon bubble, a nickel boom in Western Australia in the late 1960s, and tells of an outback pub owner who stakes a claim and finds herself an overnight millionaire.
Meg Blake is the widowed owner of a pub in a small desert town in Western Australia. Corrupt American mining executive Ed Benson starts the rumour of a nickel discovery to sell shares to gullible investors. Meg heads the rumour and stakes the first claim. Benson promotes her as the “Nickel Queen”.
Hippie Claude Fitzherbert follows Meg into Perth high society and becomes her lover. Benson is exposed as a fraud, Fitzherbert deserts Meg and runs off with Benson’s wife and Meg is reunited with an old suitor from her hometown. Read the rest of this entry »
Moon is a 2009 British science fiction drama film directed by Duncan Jones. The film is about Sam Bell (played by Sam Rockwell), a man who experiences a personal crisis as he nears the end of a three-year solitary stint mining helium-3 on the far side of the Earth’s moon. It was the feature debut of director Duncan Jones, son of the British rock musician David Bowie. Kevin Spacey voices Sam’s robot companion, GERTY. Moon premiered at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival and was released in selected theatres in New York and Los Angeles on 12 June 2009. The release was expanded to additional theatres in the United States and Toronto on both 3 and 10 July and to the United Kingdom on 17 July.
The film was praised by critics and was nominated for two BAFTA Awards, winning Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer for Jones. It also won the Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form (defeating Academy Award for Best Picture nominees Avatar and District 9) and two British Independent Film Awards including Best British Independent Film (BIFA) winner of the 2009 award for the Best British Independent Film. It was nominated for the Saturn Awards for Best Science Fiction Film and Best Actor for Rockwell. Read the rest of this entry »
The Molly Maguires is a 1970 American film based on a 1969 novel by Arthur H. Lewis that was directed by Martin Ritt. It stars Richard Harris and Sean Connery.
Set in late 19th-century Northeastern Pennsylvania, this social drama tells the story of an undercover detective sent to a coal mining community to expose a secret society of Irish-American miners battling exploitation at the hand of the owners. Partly inspired by a true story, the film portrays the rebellious leader of the Molly Maguires and his will to achieve social justice.
The Molly Maguires were a secret organization of Irish coal miners established in nineteenth century Pennsylvania to fight oppressive mineowners. Led by Jack Kehoe (Sean Connery), they plant dynamite to destroy plant shafts and equipment. As character James McParlan, Richard Harris portrays real life Pinkerton Detective James McParland who was employed to infiltrate the Mollies. Read the rest of this entry »
From National Geographic website and Youtube descriptions:
Explore the extraordinary world beneath our feet, as spectacular CGI takes us to the least understood place on the planet: The Core.
Get up close and personal with Earth in a way you probably have never imagined. Down to the Earth’s Core takes viewers from the sidewalk to the centre of the planet in one epic unbroken shot. Using spectacular computer generated imagery; the camera smashes through almost 9 000 kilometres of solid rock to explore the hidden world beneath our feet.
Experience an earthquake inside the San Andreas Fault, blast out of a volcano, encounter bizarre cave-dwelling creatures and enter caves full of giant crystals — all inside planet Earth. Read the rest of this entry »
Lust for Gold is a 1949 American western film directed by S. Sylvan Simon and starring Ida Lupino, Glenn Ford and Gig Young. The film is about the legendary Lost Dutchman gold mine, starring Ford as the “Dutchman” and Lupino as the woman he loves. The historical events are seen through a framing device set in the contempary 1940s. It was based on the book Thunder God’s Gold by Barry Storm. Part of the film was shot on location in Arizona’s Superstition Mountains.
In modern times, a newspaper reports that “noted explorer and writer” Floyd Buckley (Hayden Rorke) claims to have discovered the location of the lost gold mine. He is approached by Barry Storm (William Prince), who believes he has some claim to it, as the Dutchman was his grandfather. Buckley brushes him off, but when he heads into the Superstition Mountains, Storm secretly follows him. Read the rest of this entry »
When director Elia Kazan’s On the Waterfront opened in 1954, critics and audiences hailed the gritty movie about Hoboken dockworkers and applauded Marlon Brando’s performance as the ex-boxer who ‘coulda been a contender.’ At the next Academy Awards ceremony, On the Waterfront won Oscars for best film, best director, best actor, and best supporting actress.
Another movie about beleaguered workers opened to quite a different reception that same year. Like Kazan’s film, Salt of the Earth was based on an actual situation, in this case a mining strike in New Mexico. Both movies were shot on location with the participation of those who had lived the real stories. And both movies shared a history in the Hollywood blacklist. There the similarities ended. Kazan and his writer, Budd Schulberg, had both named names — identified movie people they said were Communists — when questioned by the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC).
Some saw their movie, in which Brando’s character testifies against the racketeers who run the docks, as an allegory in support of informing. The people behind Salt, in contrast, were unrepentant blacklistees whose leftist political affiliations derailed their careers during the Red scares of the 1950s. On the Waterfront was a hit and is remembered as a classic film. The makers of Salt of the Earth struggled to find theater owners willing to show their incendiary movie. Read the rest of this entry »
Salt of the Earth (1954) is an American drama film written by Michael Wilson, directed by Herbert J. Biberman, and produced by Paul Jarrico. All had been blacklisted by the Hollywood establishment due to their alleged involvement in communist politics.
The film is one of the first pictures to advance the feminist social and political point of view. Its plot centers on a long and difficult strike, based on the 1951 strike against the Empire Zinc Company in Grant County, New Mexico. In the film, the company is identified as “Delaware Zinc,” and the setting is “Zinctown, New Mexico.” The film shows how the miners, the company, and the police react during the strike. In neorealist style, the producers and director used actual miners and their families as actors in the film. Read the rest of this entry »
Silver Bears is a 1978 comedy thriller film directed by Ivan Passer and starring Michael Caine, Cybill Shepherd, Louis Jourdan and Joss Ackland. Caine portrays mob accountant “Doc” Fletcher who acquires a Swiss bank and a silver mine but must fight a complex struggle in order to keep hold of them.
Financial wizard “Doc” Fletcher (Michael Caine) persuades his boss, American mobster Joe Fiore (Martin Balsam), to buy up a Swiss bank in order to more easily launder their ill-gotten gains. The impoverished Italian Prince Gianfranco di Siracusa (Louis Jourdan) agrees to act as chairman of the board in order to give it an air of respectability. Read the rest of this entry »
One of the earliest mining themed films was Charlie Chaplin’s The Gold Rush made in 1925 and set in the time of the Alaskan gold rush where Chaplin revives his famous Little Tramp role as a gold prospector.
Gold has always had a key role to play in films with mining themes. The classic Treasure of the Sierra Madre directed by John Huston in 1948 and starring Humphrey Bogart and John’s father Walter Huston was one of the finest of the genre of prospectors searching for gold to secure them financially for life and falling out with disastrous consequences. Read the rest of this entry »
Every decade since 1984 the Toronto International Film Festival has conducted a poll of film scholars, critics, and directors to determine the ten best movies in the history of Canadian cinema. This top-ten list has changed somewhat over the years, as the tastes and preoccupations of respondents have shifted and a few new masterpieces have displaced old classics.
But one thing has remained constant: in all of these polls, one title has invariably topped the list, unmoved by passing trends. It is Claude Jutra’s Mon oncle Antoine (1971), which for the last twenty-five years has held the official title of “best Canadian film ever made.” While some might claim that other films are equally deserving of this distinction, no one would deny that Jutra’s bittersweet tale of a boy’s coming-of-age in 1940s rural Quebec is one of the greatest cinematic achievements ever to come out of Canada.
By the time he directed Mon oncle Antoine, Claude Jutra (1930–86) was already a well-known filmmaker in Quebec. The son of a renowned Montreal radiologist, Jutra was a gifted student who had completed medical school by the tender age of twenty-one. He never practiced medicine, though, for his passion had always been cinema, and he devoted all of his spare time and energy to the seventh art. Encouraged by his family to pursue his artistic vision, he started making shorts when he was still a teenager, and before turning twenty had already won a Canadian Film Award for best amateur film. Read the rest of this entry »